Residential Insurance Claims

Residential insurance claims

A residential property insurance claim can be a disruptive event in the life of any

policyholder. FPJL’s team of attorneys and damage experts work with homeowners to

recover the funds they are entitled to under their policy. Our firm adjusts your claim

ensuring you maximize your recovery and minimize time spent negotiating with the

carrier. Homeowner insurance policies contain ambiguous language that is often used

by insurance companies to deny or underpay claims, and our lawyers help you to

understand your rights. As attorneys we can adjust and, if necessary, litigate insurance

claims on a contingency basis, meaning we do not get paid until you do.

Typical residential property insurance policies offer:

  • “Ordinance” or “Law” which provides coverage—typically a percentage of the policy limits—in the event that building codes, enacted after a structure was built, require additional features not contained in the covered structure at the time of loss. Policyholders who purchase replacement cost coverage may expect that upgrades required by law are included in the coverage purchased, but some policies exclude these increased costs of repair.
  • “Additional Living Expense” pays the costs of living in a temporary location if a covered loss makes the damaged home unlivable. This could include hotel bills, rent, and other increased costs of living incurred while the home is being repaired or rebuilt. These benefits are usually subject to both time and monetary limitations.

 

If only part of a structure or its contents is to be repaired or replaced, issues arise if the repaired portion cannot blend with the remaining undamaged property. If repairs are obvious, they may diminish a property’s value. Although language varies with each particular policy, policyholders may have the right to demand that covered property is restored to a seamless pre-loss condition.

Be aware of who the insurance company sends to assess
your property insurance claim.

Insurance companies should be sending licensed insurance adjusters to your property; however, sometimes the first responders sent to assess the damage are not qualified. It is important to ask the person who visits your property for a business card, and it should state a first and last name and all license numbers (they should be licensed with the state). Another smart procedure is to write down the name and specific purpose of everyone who visits your property. While it is common to be in a state of distress, you must be attentive and careful when signing any documents. Cooperating with insurance companies is a part of all policies, and you must think about who has your best interests in mind. The representatives are there to assess coverage for your loss, but they are working for the insurance company, not the policyholder. In most states, you have the right to hire your own adjuster who can help you understand all the information surrounding your policy and claim, as well as negotiate with the insurance company.